CU Goings on at White Pine

Gary Dietz (gdietz@wpine.com)
Mon, 15 Dec 1997 11:39:15 -0500


CU-SeeMe friends,

Here is some information about what is going on at White Pine with
regards to CU-SeeMe and MeetingPoint.

<italic>Disclaimer: All "future" items in this e-mail contain no final
release date or functional promises to the user community; This
information bulletin is being presented as an FYI only. All information
subject to change. I will **not** be available for private e-mail
exhange on these topics outside of the listserv.

</italic>

1) CU-SeeMe 3.1 for Windows has been released. Visit
http://www.cuseeme.com for details. The upgrade price for previous White
Pine CU-SeeMe customers is $29. If you have a registered copy of CU 3.0,
3.1 is a free upgrade. CU-SeeMe 3.1 for Macintosh is still in preview.
You can get a copy off of the WP web page.

2) There is a holiday bundle of (2) copies of CU-SeeMer 3.1, a Winnov
board and a Winnov camera available for US$199. See
http://www.cuseeme.com for details.

3) G.723 audio does not require a MeetingPoint server. You can make
point to point calls using the new G.723 audio codec. And, on a 28.8K
modem, it rocks.

4) It is not White Pine's intention to force any provider to set up the
servers for H.323 conferences. In fact, H.323 services are mostly for
the business environment (for now!) As the chat standard and "people
finder" standards shape up, WP will be there and ready for the "public
video chat" model across video clients.

That being said, there is a shift going on in one of WP's markets: If you
are a corporate or educational MeetingPoint customer, you can use
CU-SeeMe, or ignore it totally if you have MeetingPoint. There is some
GREAT support for Intel's Business Video client in MeetingPoint already.
In fact, in Intel reseller test centers, they are using multipoint Intel
Business Conferencing H.323 products (hardware assisted) with
MeetingPoint at 15+FPS in a multipoint conference. MeetingPoint support
for this type of environment will only improve in the near and long term
future as the H.323 standard grows and the market matures.

To rephrase for Streak: H.323 is today most relevant in the private,
corporate, intranet model. Don't filter all of your harsh judgements
through the "public video chat" filter. There are other applications
besides the one you are most familiar with...

Now, before people say "HEY YOU ARE ABANDONING US CHATTERS!!!!" let's
explore the "video chat" market pioneered at Cornell and right here on
this listserv. White Pine will continue to support that through providing
access to the White Pine Cafes (US and *new* Europe WP Cafe) as well as
working with partners to provide chat services. It is NOT White Pine's
mission to provide the world with free server services, although we will
continue to provide better, safer, and more places to meet (especially
for the education market).

The model most likely to be adopted is similar to that of Refland and
Global Schoolhouse (to name two doing it today). Our other publicly
announced parters, such as UUNet, Digex, Compuserve, and others are
working on models right now. See WP's press release archive for more
information at

http://www.wpine.com/press/press-releases.html

Many of these services will be free, and many will not. (When Streak
graduates, and his University isn't around to subsidize the bandwidth for
his reflector or reflector scanner, he'll then realize that his idea of
"free to the world Reflector services" really aren't free -- someone pays
for the server and the bandwidth.)

5) User Interface - I'll repeat our position again. We are more
concerned with the "average" user for the 3.1 commercial releases of
CU-SeeMe (like my Mom!). We realize that some CU-SeeMe 2.x and freeware
users don't like the new UI. But many do. I have many customers and
testers who adore the new interface. It is a matter of opinion. I've
said it before and I'll say it again -- try it, if you don't like it,
don't buy it. Capitalism is a wonderful thing!

5a) That being said, WP CU-SeeMe will eventually (I won't say when ;-) be
available as an ActiveX, Netscape Plug-in or other "container type"
applet. Don't like the UI for your purposes? Well, then design your own
bloody UI and shaddup! ;-) <<-- big smily; I love our customers...
Really, I do!

*THAT* is why I'm not worried about the complaints I hear about the
current "commerical release" UI.

5b) There will be other user interfaces and vertical products sold by
White Pine. The first one will be aimed at educators, and will have
integrated features long requested such as hand raising, and other REALLY
COOL stuff that I can't say right now. And no, it won't be free :-( And
no, the beta for this product is NOT OPEN (yet).

6) Other applications of CU-SeeMe. There are MANY MANY activities going
on in the industry right now in event scheduling, the ISP/NSP market
shakeout, Distance Learning, multicast, and gateways from H.320 to H.323
systems. White Pine is well aware of these new applications and emerging
technologies and standards. "listserv" flame wars notwithstanding, White
Pine is addressing these and other issues at levels appropriate to our
commercial goals and company resources.

Well, I hope this update was helpful. And, to repeat, I will not take
questions offline regarding this note -- please feel free to post to the
list.

Happy holidays,

Gary

--

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Gary Dietz, Product Manager, Vertical Solutions

White Pine Software Incorporated

542 Amherst Street, Nashua, NH 03063

603-886-9050 x356 gdietz@wpine.com

Distance Learning Resource Center http://www.wpine.com/edu/DLRC.html

CU-SeeMe(R) Videoconferencing http://www.cuseeme.com

MeetingPoint(tm) Conference Server http://www.wpine.com/mp

Corporate Web Page http://www.wpine.com

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